November 13, 2008 / 11:35 AM / 9 years ago

Microsoft to spend $1 bln on R&D in China

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BEIJING (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp will spend more than $1 billion in China over the next three years on research and development, an executive said on Thursday.

The research spending does not include the $300 million the company has already committed to build a new research and development facility in Beijing, said Zhang Yaqin, chairman of China Research and Development for Microsoft.

"We will spend more than $1 billion over the next three years on research and development in China," Zhang told reporters at an event to announce Simon Leung as the new chairman and chief executive for Microsoft in greater China.

"This spending is mainly targeted at staffing and resources for research and development, it does not include mergers and acquisitions," said Zhang, who had been the acting chairman.

Even before the new investment China represented one of Microsoft's largest research and development areas, trailing only the United States.

Previously Microsoft had said it would invest $100 million in Chinese software companies and provide another $100 million in software development services and projects.

Before joining Microsoft Leung was president of Asia Pacific for Motorola Inc.

($=6.83 yuan)

Reporting by Kirby Chien and Michael Wei; editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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